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Alternatives to traditional liquor marketing

Sep 27th 2011, 08:37

September 2011
Alternatives to traditional liquor marketing
Against a backdrop of pending restrictions on alcohol advertising, South African wine and alcoholic beverage producers may have to be even more creative in getting consumers to engage with their brands.

One idea that has been seen internationally is the concept of on-pack publishing where producers attach a printed booklet on the bottle that is easily removed. This on-pack publication would typically include additional information about the beverage. In the case of the pending advertising restrictions, this could be a way for brands to drive their message home to consumers where other forms of traditional media may face constraints.

SMS-based competitions provide another way of driving a message home to consumers and is a means of getting them to actively engage in a brand. “Scratch-and-win” type competitions are an example of how this can be used. In a worst case scenario where other forms of advertising are severely restrained, such a code could be inserted in a prominent area on a beverage bottle as an alternative, or printed on the removable on-pack publication mentioned above.

QR Codes, although a fairly recent technology in South Africa, are also finding their way onto wine bottles. One website,, is offering the use of QR codes to a number of local wine estates to attach on their bottles. Here, consumers who own a smartphone can scan the code using their mobile device to obtain additional information about the estate.

Although it can be argued that liquor advertising is already restrained because such adverts are required to display prominent notices about age eligibility and responsible consumption, this, together with the pending regulations is another cause for alcoholic beverage producers to become more creative in their marketing strategies.

Wendy Smith

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